Meet the Researchers
Dr. Jones is a cancer epidemiologist whose work and teaching focus is on health disparities. Her research is focused on racial/ethnic differences in cancer screening and cancer outcomes. Current work has focused on the Hispanic/Latino population with studies of predictors of mammography screening and other health behaviors, breast density, and colorectal cancer screening in Hispanic/Latinas living in the Northeast, US. Using a multidisciplinary approach, she has evaluated the role(s) of tumor characteristics, selected genetic alterations and genetic polymorphisms, as well as social class, medical care, and psychosocial factors, in explaining differences cancer stage at diagnosis and survival between African Americans and Whites in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Other work has identified important African American/White differences in mammography screening and screening outcomes.
Daniel C. DiMaio, MD, PhD is Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Genetics, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Therapeutic Radiology, and Deputy Director of the Yale Cancer Center. The DiMaio laboratory is studying the molecular mechanisms of how two groups of tumor viruses, human papillomaviruses and polyomaviruses, enter cells, with a particular focus on identifying the cellular proteins that mediate virus entry and intracellular trafficking. In addition, they are using viral transmembrane proteins as models to develop a class of artificial small transmembrane proteins with a variety of biological activities, including the ability to form tumors and confer resistance to HIV infection.
After graduating from Harvard with a A.B. in physics in 1989, Prof. Mark Gerstein earned a doctorate in theoretical chemistry and biophysics from Cambridge University in 1993. He did postdoctoral research in bioinformatics at Stanford University from 1993 to 1996. He came to Yale in 1997 as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and since 1999, in the Computer Science Department. He was named an associate professor in 2001, and the following year became co-director of the Yale Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Program. Gerstein has published appreciably in the scientific literature, with >400 publications in total, including a number of them in prominent venues, such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. His research is focused on bioinformatics, and he is particularly interested in data science & data mining, macromolecular geometry & simulation, human genome annotation & disease genomics, and genomic privacy.
Stephanie Halene, MD, PhD is an associate professor of Medicine (Hematology). Dr. Halene received her MD and PhD from Eberhard-Karls-Universitat Tubingen. Her laboratory focuses focuses on the study of myeloid malignancies and hematopoiesis. In particular, she seeks to understand the role of mutations in splicing factors, present in nearly 50% of patient with Myelodysplasia (MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). In addition, the laboratory seeks to establish a “co-clinical” model for MDS and AML with the goal to facilitate the translation of improved, less toxic, and more efficient treatments for MDS and AML into the clinic.
Melinda L. Irwin, PhD, MPH is Professor of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, Associate Director in the Yale Cancer Center, Co-Program Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Yale Cancer Center, and Deputy Director in the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Irwin is a prominent leader in the field of lifestyle factors and chronic diseases. Her research over the past 15 years has focused on randomized trials of exercise and weight loss on biological markers, treatment side effects and quality of life in cancer patients and survivors. She has received funding from the NIH, ACS, American Institute for Cancer Research, Komen for the Cure, Livestrong Foundation and other foundations and has published her research findings in top medical journals. For the past 10 years, Dr. Irwin has been the Director of Training and Education on the NCI-Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Initiative. At Yale, Dr. Irwin has advised, mentored and trained over 100 trainees on public health related studies. Dr. Irwin also serves on various national advisory committees to develop consensus statements on physical activity, diet, weight and cancer prevention and control.
Megan King, PhD, is an associate professor of Cell Biology. Dr. King graduated from Brandeis University and received her PhD from University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Her research interests include cell nucleus, cell biology, DNA repair, microtubules, nuclear envelope, and telomere.
Harriet Kluger, MD is a medical oncologist who sees patients with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. Dr. Kluger received her MD from Tel Aviv University. Her research interests focus on developing new drugs and biomarkers predictive of response to these drugs in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. She participates in a number of clinical trials studying new agents for the treatment of these diseases, both targeting the immune system and the cancer cell. She runs and active research laboratory that studies tumor and immune cells from patients treated with novel therapies.
C. Patrick Lusk
Dr. Lusk has a long standing interest in fundamental cellular mechanisms of compartmentalization with an emphasis on those that govern the biogenesis of the nuclear envelope and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). He has been studying the nuclear envelope and nuclear transport since his graduate work at the University of Alberta in Canada and has been trained during his postdoctoral fellowship by Günter Blobel at The Rockefeller University. During this time, he (with collaborators/colleagues) has provided substantial insight into how nuclear transport is regulated and how the NPC is assembled. Moreover, he has helped to develop yeast as a model to study integral membrane proteins that reside at the inner nuclear membrane. While it is generally understood that these proteins are essential factors in gene regulation and genome organization, which is reflected by the discovery of the “nuclear envelopathies”, they remain challenging to study. Dr. Lusk is leveraging his expertise in yeast cell biology and genetics with super-resolution and proteomic approaches to illuminate function at the nuclear periphery.
Dr. Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Public Health, Core Faculty in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, and Research Faculty at Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute. Dr. Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting healthcare equity for vulnerable populations with an emphasis on healthcare workforce development, patient assessment of healthcare experiences, and healthcare system strengthening to address chronic disease in low and middle resource settings. She is the principal investigator on several NIH and foundation-funded research projects, including an NIH-fund project to develop a tool to assess patient reported experiences of discrimination in healthcare. In 2011 she received NIH funding to establish the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes and Research Network (ECHORN), a research collaborative across four Eastern Caribbean islands that will recruit and follow a community-dwelling adult cohort to examine chronic disease burden and to enhance health outcomes research and leadership capacity in the region. Dr. Nunez-Smith has received numerous awards including the Association of American Medical College’s Herbert W. Nicken’s Faculty Fellowship in 2008 in recognition of her contributions to healthcare workforce diversity and healthcare equity research and a 2011 American Medical Student Association’s Women Leaders in Medicine award. Dr. Nunez-Smith has a BA from Swarthmore College, an MD from Jefferson Medical College, and an MHS from Yale University.
Faye Rogers, PhD is an associate professor of Therapeutic Radiology. Dr. Rogers graduated from Andrews University and received her PhD from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Her research interests include biochemistry, breast neoplasms, DNA repair, nucleic acids, drug design, apoptosis, radiation oncology, and genomic instability.